Eagles and Giants meet for first place in NFC East

Published: Sunday, Dec. 19 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

With Vick running the show, the Eagles have developed into the most potent offense (measured by yards) in the league. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin provide deep threats and McCoy can not only run, but his 70 receptions lead all running backs.

Philadelphia limited the Giants to 208 yards in total offense in the last meeting, holding the running game to 61 yards on 19 carries.

"They shut us down," Giants guard Chris Snee said. "They won that battle, that's why they won the game. We have to do a much better job and that way we keep Vick off the field."

Since losing to Philadelphia, the Giants have reeled off three straight wins. The constant in that spurt has been the running game. Jacobs replaced fumble-prone Ahmad Bradshaw as the starter and the line has gotten its act together, with left tackle David Diehl returning to the lineup in Monday night's 21-3 win over Minnesota in Detroit.

New York has rushed for 197 and 213 yards in the last two games, with Jacobs and Bradshaw both covering over 100 yards last week.

The Eagles are also going to have a major change in the middle of their defense: Middle linebacker Stewart Bradley is out with a dislocated right elbow and rookie Jamar Chaney will replace him.

"Their run game is pretty ridiculous," Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp said. "They have two capable backs. So that's really something we have to focus on, but you really can't shy away from playing defense as far as the pass goes. Even though they didn't have their starters playing the last few weeks, you don't know when those guys are coming back. And you know the guys that they signed, they signed for a reason. They get the job done, too."

New York has its own injury problem. Steve Smith, who set a team-record with 107 catches last season, hurt his left knee Monday night and he is scheduled to have season-ending surgery.

Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham will start, but Manningham hurt his hip against the Vikings and his status will probably be decided before the game. Derek Hagan and tight end Kevin Boss will be asked to pick up the slack.

The key for the Giants will be containing Vick. New York limited him to 258 yards passing and no touchdowns in the first meeting, holding the Eagles to one touchdown and four field goals in five red zone trips.

New York's defense did an outstanding job of forcing Vick to roll to his right, making the left-hander throw across his body.

"Even then he makes plays," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said. "With a guy like Vick you have to get lucky, and a lot of luck comes from playing hard, and that's what we are going to do."

Expect the same from Vick. He spent 1½ years in prison waiting for a chance to get back on the field and win again.

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